Company values are the ‘beliefs, philosophies, and principles that drive a business.’ Having values that reflect who you are and who you strive to be is extremely important to the success of any company and brand. If chosen and implemented correctly company values can help shape the vision of a company, retain and build great teams, improve client relationships, and foster innovation.
When Concirrus was founded in 2012 by Co-founders Andy Yeoman and Craig Hollingworth they both set out to create a clear set of values based on where the business was and where they were going. Nearly a decade on we have evolved as a business. The products we offer have changed, our clients have grown, and our team has become increasingly diverse. We felt that it was time to update our values, so they aligned with who we are today. There are still some similarities between the new and old set of values as our main goal is to always focus on our people and clients, however, we wanted to create a new set of values that could be incorporated into our day-to-day operations and ingrained in our decision-making processes.
“Our goal was to have values that guide our company direction and that align with every single business decision we make. Our original values were created when it was just Craig and me. Last year we realised that they didn't reflect who we were (as a team), how we were operating and didn't address some of the aspects of diversity, inclusion, and remote working that we experience each day. So, I asked Craig to lead a review of the values and update them...which led to our fantastic new values that will become part of our DNA and used to lean on when making decisions.” – Andy Yeoman, CEO
Towards the end of 2020, we started the process to create our new values. We thought instead of wondering how a new set of values could apply to different departments why not include everyone within the process. We were then able to ensure that the values were representative of all our employees and as inclusive as possible.
Step 1: Employee Advocates
Our first step was to gather a group of individuals from different departments within the company to become employee value advocates. Having contributors from different teams who are passionate about the culture and environment they work in was extremely useful as we were able to gain insights and experiences from each person. We asked them questions on what they like, don’t like, and how they’d want to improve the general environment in which they work. This was not only about allowing our team to choose which values represent them but about being given the freedom to participate in the decision-making process.
Step 2: Inspiring Company Values
As a focus group, we were then asked to go and research external company values which we found inspirational and that resonated with our culture and standards. We also looked at our existing values and how we could adapt these to fit our current team and future-proof them.
Step 3: Suggested Values
From the brainstorming and debating which came out of our first couple of sessions, we had six suggested values. We then looked at the phraseology options for each while getting feedback from our teams along the way.
Step 4: Ranking
We then scored each value phrase through a rigorous ranking process.
Step 5: Team Survey
Whittling down the values from our ranking system we were then able to get the wider team involved. We sent out a values survey throughout the company where each employee had the opportunity to have their say. From these results, we were able to see which values resonated best with the team as a whole.
Step 6: Core Aspirational Matrix
From the results of the survey, we went through each value with a Core Aspirational Matrix score.
Step 7: Acid Test
From our reduced value sentiments, we then went through each one asking ourselves questions and testing each one e.g., can they be shared externally to reflect the organisation? and ‘do they stand the test of time?’.
Step 8: Wordsmithing Workshop
From our final list of values, we then held a workshop with a trusted advisor to give us fresh eyes on the project. We went through each value and looked at wordsmithing ideas. We were then able to condense our final values from these sessions.
Step 9: Launching Values
We launched our new values to the company during a Friday FedTalk where the team were introduced to our new company values and were able to see the process behind them.
Step 10: Live and breathe our Values!
As a team, these values will be a part of how we operate on a day-to-day basis and shape the way we go about our work.
Our new values...
“Being part of the values committee, I hoped that by the end of the process we could come up with values that weren't just lip service, or things we should be doing already, but were actual behaviours we respected and wanted to encourage across the company. When it came to picking out imagery for our values, we settled on line art icons with distinct colours. We wanted simple things that could represent each value without words, making remembering each value easier, and were discernible at small sizes so they could be used on slack as emoji reactions.” – Daniel Rajendran, Product Designer
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